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The Month of Harry

He’s taking Julius’ month away from him. This week the new movie, fifth in the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix comes out, and the week after that, the last book of the series. It’s been about ten years, right, since the first book.

Because I remembered so little of the last book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I just reread it. I wish I had gone ahead and reread Order of the Phoenix as well but there you have it. People are getting themselves all in a lather on whether Harry will die or not. That’s neither here nor there. I just wish a number of loose ends are tied up and the series comes to a fitting conclusion free of gods from the machine and impossible coincidence. I hope there aren’t new characters that pop out of the woodwork and clues that have been planted all along explain themselves. I hope too many things aren’t left hanging. I’m not the kind of person who’s good at “reading the drama”. I can’t figure out the end by what happens at the beginning. I actually go out of my way to not look ahead or think ahead. I like to let the story breathe on its own and come to its own conclusion.

I can’t help wondering how she’ll do it, though. How can Harry go about finding four horcruxes and destroy them? He’s only a fair underage wizard. How can it possibly be done in one book. My theory is we’ve already seen all the horcruxes, we and the characters don’t know they’re horcruxes. Now there’s the problem of Harry having to suddenly learn a bunch of magic to destroy them since I don’t think a large rock would work at this point. I’ve thought the endings of the last two books were far from satisfactory. One ends with the revelation of an indifferent prophecy anyone could have come up with and the other with a fake horcrux. Both things made the human cost seem outrageous and neither one gets Harry closer to destroying Voldemort. We’ll see how it ends. I really don’t want to throw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows across the room. My neighbor wouldn’t like it.

As far as the movies are concerned, I don’t like what they’ve done with Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort. He was scarier off-screen when people spoke of him in whispers. All of a sudden he’s on screen and he has feet and a weird singsong voice. And I really don’t understand why he has no nose. It looks fake in a weird way. It’s not the actor’s problem. He played an Amon Geoth that made your skin crawl in Schindler’s List. He has no problem playing bad guys. I just think that in this scenario, the camera would benefit from showing less of him rather than showing more, especially since people holding wands looks more ridiculous than scary to me. We have to fear him if he as a villain works and he doesn’t and that’s a shame. It goes to the heart of what I think about villains anyway. It’s very hard to pull off an all-evil villain since they end up looking like caricatures and both the movies and books have been at their best when Voldemort’s off-stage and the characters are fighting back the weaknesses and dark sides of themselves. The best villains are the sympathetic ones and Voldemort comes up short.

This July, all questions will be laid to rest and I just hope I don’t have to post about how much I hated the ending in two weeks, like I did about His Dark Materials. Endings can be great or terrible. I hope this one does the rest of the narrative justice. I hate when things don’t end well.

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